2017 Kia Picanto revealed with sketches

3 January 2017
, GoAutoMedia

The new Kia Picanto will be touching down in Australia as soon as possible, hot on the heels of the current model which launched in April 2016.

Although only launching in Australia in April 2016 in its first generation, Kia has already taken the wraps off its second-generation Picanto micro car and has confirmed a local debut in mid-2017.

Revealed in three sketch images, the new Picanto shows off sportier lines and a more aggressive front end thanks to angular headlights and eye-catching red detailing around the lower air intakes.

The rear reveals ultra-stylised C-shaped tail-lights, a subtle roof-mounted rear spoiler and more red highlights along what appears to be an understated rear diffuser.

Inside, Kia's most-diminutive model will benefit form a large central screen and sports steering wheel, as well as silver highlights across the dashboard, air vents, gear selector  and door trims.

Kia Motors Australia media and corporate communications manager Kevin Hepworth said the launch of the first-generation Picanto was used to gauge market reaction and that "it's been exceptional" with sales to the end of November hitting 1525 units.

This places the Picanto third behind the Mitsusbishi Mirage (2781) and Holden Spark (1603) in the heavily price sensitive micro car segment.

Mr Hepworth said the $14,990 driveaway price tag of the Picanto has helped Kia with market penetration and sales volume.

"We're not charging $16,990 to get in it for a start," he said. "That is the most price sensitive segment in the market. $500 or $600 makes a huge difference to that car.

"It's not just the cost out the door. People look at it as a value equation over the ownership."

The new car will be a step up in terms of features.

Like all new Kia models, the Picanto comes with a seven-year warranty as well as capped-price servicing over that period.

While still too early to confirm details about the new model, the next-generation Picanto will likely adopt the same single variant strategy as its predecessor.

The current Picanto comes standard with features including a four-speed automatic transmission, 63kW/120Nm 1.2-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, 14-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, power mirrors and four-speaker entertainment system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Mr Hepworth said the new car will be a step up in terms of features, confirming "it will be a much more technologically advanced vehicle with a lot more kit in it and a lot more design".

Kia's new-generation Picanto is expected to be revealed early this year, possibly at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Chicago motor show, or at its own in-house event.

What do you think of Kia launching its new Picanto so soon after the first-generation model? Tell us what you think in the comments below.